Renault Sport European GP - Valencia Race Report

Valencia Street Circuit

Double podium for Renault RS27 engine in European Grand Prix

Two Renault RS27 engines finished in the top three in today’s European Grand Prix at the Valencia Urban Circuit.

Red Bull Racing-Renault’s Sebastian Vettel sealed his sixth victory in eight races so far this season, finishing the 57 lap Grand Prix more than 10secs ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. The reigning world champion also consolidated the performance of the Red Bull Racing-Renault package with the fastest lap of the race.

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing
Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing

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The RS27 powered Sebastian’s team-mate Mark Webber to third, while Lotus Renault GP’s Nick Heidfeld finished in 10th overall with Vitaly Petrov 15th. Team Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli passed the flag in 19th and 20th respectively. Sebastian Vettel extends his lead in the drivers’ championship to 186 points, while Mark Webber now matches Jenson Button with 109 points. In the constructors’ championship, Red Bull Racing-Renault has 295 points to McLaren’s 206.

Key race weekend points:

The Red Bull-Renault partnership’s domination of qualifying this season continued as Sebastian and Mark locked out the front row. In the race Sebastian used the RS27 to power away to a three second lead before his first pit stop. He retained the lead after a further two stops and a final stint push – which saw the German set the fastest lap of the race – extended his winning margin to more than 10secs. The win is Sebastian’s 16th career victory and the 136th for a Renault engine in F1.

Mark held second place until lap 21 when Alonso passed him on track, but the Australian regained the position after the second round of pit stops. Alonso was able to move back into second ahead of Mark after the final pit stops and a further challenge from the latter was halted by a gearbox issue in the closing stages of the race. Sebastian now has a cushion of 77 points in the drivers’ championship over Mark and Button.

Nick Heidfeld, Lotus Renault GP
Nick Heidfeld, Lotus Renault GP

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Lotus Renault GP

Nick secured ninth in qualifying, with Vitaly just missing the cut for Q3 by three hundredths of a second. Vitaly dropped back to 15th after the start and heavy tyre degradation round the tight circuit prevented him moving back up the order. The Russian also experienced a water leak in the latter stages of the race. Nick ran in the top 10 throughout the race, making three pit stops. Vitaly is eighth in the drivers’ championship with Nick just one point behind in ninth. The team retains fourth position in the constructors’ race, three points ahead of Mercedes GP.

Team Lotus

Team Lotus achieved a double car finish in the tough, hot conditions. The Anglo-Malaysian team split pit stop strategies during the race, with Heikki running a three stop strategy and Jarno a two stop. Both were able to keep good pace with the midfield teams and finish with a comfortable margin over the ‘new’ teams. Heikki finished in 19th with Jarno 20th, the team’s fourth double finish of the season so far.

The European Grand Prix is a particularly tough race for engines

Rémi Taffin

Rémi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations, gives his views on the race weekend:

Another great result for Red Bull Racing-Renault with the sixth out of a possible eight wins this season and a double podium. For Renault Sport F1 it’s a fantastic end to the weekend and keeps our unbroken record of having a podium finish at each race since the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix. We’re also delighted Lotus Renault GP’s Nick Heidfeld gave us three engines in the top ten.

The European Grand Prix is a particularly tough race for engines, with the combination of low to medium speed corners and long straights requiring engine driveability and responsiveness across all rev limits. With such a tough workout, we can be really pleased to have achieved a 100% finishing record across all our partners today. After this race we will go back to our HQ to prepare for the British Grand Prix where another new directive comes into force concerning the use of exhaust gases. Although it feels like going back to basics with settings and maps we have used in the past, we have got experience to build on and, of course, the drive to continue the run of results we’ve had so far this year.

Renault statistics in F1:

136 wins, 184 poles, 269 podiums *

* including Supertec, Mecachrome and Playlife statistics

By: Renault Sport

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Fernando Alonso , Heikki Kovalainen , Sebastian Vettel , Vitaly Petrov
Teams Ferrari , Red Bull Racing , Mercedes , Team Lotus , McLaren
Tags european gp, renault